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Member Activism Keeps Program Cuts at Bay

Battle to Protect Social Security and Medicare Not Over

More than fifteen thousand Nevadans responded to our call for help letting Members of Congress know that Social Security and Medicare should not be cut in an effort to pay the nation’s bills. Another 6,600 participated in our Telephone town hall discussing member concerns about the proposed cuts.

But the challenge has only begun as Congress’ “super committee” begins the work of identifying $1.5 trillion in Federal budget cuts over the next 10 years.

AARP’s CEO, Barry Rand had this to say after the nomination of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, “Seniors have worked their entire lives to achieve a level of health and economic security in retirement. With the compounded effect of loss of retirement savings – particularly through the recent market fluctuations over the last two weeks – and home equity, high unemployment and rising health care costs, cuts to the benefits seniors have earned could undermine the standard of living today and for future middle class generations... We look forward to working with our elected leaders to strengthen health and retirement security, not weaken it, for current and future generations.”

AARP Members Care Deeply About Programs

In a 2010 member opinion poll 78% said they were very or extremely concerned about Social Security and 74% said the same of Medicare. Nearly identical results were generated among Nevada members with 77% concerned about Social Security and 73% worried about Medicare.

AARP’s work on these issues is based on our members’ feedback. They tell us they want to see Social Security and Medicare strengthened for future generations; as these programs are an essential part of health and economic security for Americans later in life. And we know this is true. Social Security is the only source of income for fully one third of all Social Security recipients; a decrease in benefits could be devastating for those living at the margins.

We’ll Need Your Help

During the weeks leading up to the deficit deal, AARP volunteers and staff visited Members of Congress (MOC’s) in states across the country. AARP Nevada met with the entire Nevada Congressional delegation and their staff representatives. We delivered your petitions and reminded them of the calls and emails they’d received. But we’ll need to work even harder together in the coming months.

The “super committee” has their first meeting on September 16; then they’ll have until November to come up with recommendations. AARP plans to keep fighting to stop Congress from cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits. We believe that instead of cutting the benefits you’ve worked for, Congress should reduce waste and close tax loopholes.

AARP plans to keep the heat on, asking our members to engage these Members of Congress. It’s critical that everyday Americans have a voice in the discussion. You can share your opinions and sign up to get email from AARP on this and other urgent legislative and regulatory issues by becoming an AARP activist.

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